Daily Archives: October 30, 2006

Homeschooling, Faulty Logic, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Suicide, and Getting Slimed


This post was going to go on and on about the merits of homeschooling, refuting several viciously-worded posts by a certain blogger who seems to have taken it on to be the voice of anti-homeschooling sentiment in the blogosphere.  I was going to hot link this through the roof with the MANY studies that have come out touting the benefits of hs’ing, and disproving many of the negative assumptions about the development of hs’ed kids.

However, I’ve decided that I’m just not going to spend my time on that, at least not right now, and I’m certainly not to link to him, thereby giving his truly wicked-tongued rants any further audience.

One thing I did want to say was that, as I’ve pondered his words for the last day or so, I’ve realized that one of his “points” has some serious logic holes.

He blogged about a certain homeschooler who committed suicide, and came to the conclusion that the hs’ing lifestyle is what led him to kill himself.

That’s ridiculous.  If such was the case, the only kids who commit suicide would be homeschoolers, and regularly-schooled kids would never kill themselves.  But we know that this is just not true:  More than one teenage school shooting rampage has been brought about by feelings of alienation derived from negative interaction in school.

Now, I did not read this post of his extremely thoroughly, and did not read any of his comments, but I did skim through several of his posts, and he seems dead-set on ridding the U.S. from the ‘blight’ that is homeschooling.  I wanted to get an idea of what I’m potentially up against, but my Slime-O-Meter was blipping out of control, and I knew that I needed to keep my exposure to his expletive-filled vociferousness to a minimum.

Have there been hs’ed kids who commit suicide in the past?  Yes, obviously.  Will there be in the future?  Unfortunately, that is nearly certain.  However, if a study was done, I would bet my Suburban that the rate of suicide among hs’ers is *much* less than that of their publicly-schooled counterparts.

My middle son, Grant, was diagnosed when he was about 4.5 with a very odd learning disorder called Nonverbal Learning Disorder.  I blogged a bit about it here, but essentially, Grant’s developmental pediatrician is convinced that homeschooling is crucial to Grant’s continued healthy development.  He also believes that we were able to arrive early at a diagnosis (Grant was the youngest he’d ever dx’ed with this disorder) precisely *because* I’m a homeschooling mother and very much in tune with what (and how) my kids are learning.  He is also certain that Grant would be seriously misunderstood and dealt with unwisely by staff (though unintentionally so, of course) at any public institution, and that he’d probably perpetually be “in trouble” and have to be medicated.

Last note about that — kids with Nonverbal Learning Disorder have an astronomically high rate of suicide.  HOWEVER, the earlier NLD is dx’ed, and the better it is treated, those scary stats decrease to nearly nil.  NLD is similar to autism in that it is largely a communication disorder, both in processing external information, and expressing what is happening internally, and can lead to a HUGE disconnect between the NLD’er and the rest of the world. 

But, when a child is in an environment when those around him LOVE him, understand him, and are ultimately committed to his success in all of life’s arenas, and things like LD’s are effectively treated, then the secondary neuroses that can develop are kept to an absolute minimum.  IOW, catching NLD early and dealing with it rightly increase that child’s chances of success, and decrease their chances of developing neuroses like OCD and other problems that can frequently lead to suicide.

So, Mr. Homeschool Detractor, you’re just showing your ignorance.  Maybe you should check into ODD.  😆

Argh! Just because a baby is not wearing pink does not mean she’s a BOY!

I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but I just plumb do not like it when my baby is called a “boy.”

Now, I do clothe my daughter in a lot more pink that I thought I would, before she was born.  (I just got a charming pale pink chenille jacket that is tied with a translucent, shimmery pink ribbon that I can’t wait for her to wear.  😀 )  However, it seems that every time she’s NOT in pink, she gets called a boy.

She was wearing this top yesterday, at church:
Audrey Sophie in the back of the 'Burban

It’s olive green, edged in brighter green, with a colorful, appliqued, stylized flower on the front.  (It, along with the jeans she is wearing in the above photo, was a gift from my friend Lori, who has known me since we were both in the nursery at church, as babies ourselves.  She so knows me!!!)  Yesterday, Audrey was wearing this top with a flouncy denim SKIRT, and white socks that had olive and PINK flowers on them.  Three times, she got called a boy as my husband was holding her. 

Maybe it’s because she’s bald, combined with the fact that she wasn’t wearing pink…  and I know I’m biased as a mom, but I do not think she looks the slightest bit boyish.  I *HAVE* three boys.  I know what boys look like.  She is NOT a boy.  Grrr.

YAY!!! Gluten-free “regular” cereal!

NOTE, added May 22, 2014:  This post was originally from OCTOBER, 2006.  A lot has changed since then, including our own eating habits.  In the post below, I was rejoicing over finding General Mills’ Dora the Explorer cereal.  First, we have totally removed anything artificial — including preservatives and flavorings — from our family’s diet.  Secondly, they don’t even MAKE Dora cereal any longer.  Read labels.  Choose your cereals carefully, even those marked “gluten-free”.  For instance, most Chex flavors are gluten-free, but they are not organic, very likely contain GMO grain, and they now include BHT as a chemical preservative.  We no longer purchase Chex.

One of the drawbacks of a gluten-free diet is that I can no longer buy “regular” food when it goes on sale.  I used to save a good $30-40/week in coupons, sometimes more.  I still do coupons, but only typically save $5-12/week with them, since I can no longer buy many of the items for which the coupons are created, since they are what we un-affectionately call “Gluten Delievery Devices,” or GDD for short.

So, for cereal (which we eat 2-3x/week), I’m often stuck buying boxes that are not on sale.  When I can, I get myself up to Trader Joe’s for their smokin’ deals on EnviroKidz gluten-free cereal, but more often, I have to pay full price (about $3.99/box) for them (and other g.f. cereals).

I discovered this cereal a couple of months ago, and every time it goes on sale, I scoop up a few boxes.  Last night, I was *thrilled* to buy 3 boxes of General Mills’ Dora the Explorer cereal, on sale with a coupon, so I spent only $4.25 total on them.

Now, General Mills makes no claims on the box (nor on its website) that ANY of its cereals are g.f. — they probably don’t want to open the possible cross-contamination can of worms — but all the ingredients are g.f., *and* it only has 6 g/sugar per serving, which is the same as Life, Honey Bunches of Oats, and other lower-sugar cereals.  The ingredients (not counting added vitamins & minerals) are:

whole grain corn, corn meal, sugar, corn bran, modified corn starch, canola and/or rice bran oil, corn syrup, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, natural and artificial flavor

“Natural flavor” can be iffy, harboring gluten-derived or gluten-containing flavors, but the risk is pretty small.

I’m not really into kid-character-branded *anything* but Dora’s all right, and the product is fairly healthy, so…  we’ll gladly partake.

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